RED BANK – This past winter’s harsh weather has meant the West Side Lofts, the large commercial and residential project, is about five or six weeks behind schedule.
“Given the winter, we’re very pleased with our progress,” said Stephen Santola, executive vice president and general counsel for Woodmont Properties of Fairfield, a principal in the project.
Despite lost work time, the project, located on West Front Street and Bridge Avenue, is slated to be largely completed by January 2015 rather than December as initially hoped, Santola said.
“Now that the snow is gone, we are able to make good progress,” said Lewis Zlotnick, president of Woodmont Construction.
During the winter, contractors “made provisions with heaters on the site” and other winterized equipment, allowing crews to move forward except on the most severe weather days, Santola said.
The work included using a panelized-steel system to erect portions of the five-story structure, which Zlotnick said, “is proving to be a real productivity gain for us.”
Because the project is moving along as well as it is and the amount of interest in the project, the developers will open a rental office in late spring or early summer, according to Chris Cole, who is also a principal in the project and managing partner for Metrovation, a Washington state-based real estate development firm with such local holdings as the shopping centers the Grove, in Shrewsbury, and Brook 35 Plaza, Sea Girt.
Even before the sales office is open, more than 500 people have expressed an interested in renting the 92 residential units that will be available when the project is completed, developers said.
Landscape architects have been on-site and are expected to begin their work this summer, Cole said.
The site will include 92 units, mostly one- and two-bedroom apartments, with three living/working loft spaces. A multitier 221-stall parking garage is mostly complete.
On the commercial side, the 1.8-acre property will include Triumph Brew Pub. The pub, which has locations in Princeton, New Hope and Philadelphia, Pa., will use 10,510 square feet. There will be another 11,353 square feet of retail.
“We have been talking to a few retailers, national and regional,” about leasing the space, said Cole, who wouldn’t name the retailers at this stage.
Borough officials previously touted the project as a key component in revitalizing the borough’s west side and paving the way for future development in that neighborhood and elsewhere in the borough, stalled since the 2008 recession.
“Our goal is to do the West Side Lofts project right and the other pieces will fall into place,” Cole said. “We’re very bullish on the west side.”